Condition category
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Diabetes during pregnancy or hestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is associated with significant pregnancy-related complications, morbidity in newborns, and a long-term risk of developing type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease in both the mother and the offspring. In a pregnant women with GDM, blood sugar usually returns to normal levels after delivery. However, about 50-70% of GDM mothers develop type 2 diabetes within 5-10 years after the birth of the child. Simple interventions such as dietary modification and regular physical activity have shown to improve blood sugar levels and constitute potentially attractive options to reduce the risk of GDM.
The current study aims to investigate if diet and physical activity intervention from 18 weeks of pregnancy helps reduce the risk of developing diabetes among pregnant women.

Who can participate?
Pregnant adult women who have been pregnant for 16 weeks or less and are at risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy

What does the study involve?
Eligible women will be randomly allocated to one of the four treatment groups – diet, physical activity, diet and physical activity or standard care. In the dietary intervention, women will have to consume 200 g of fermented yoghurt daily. Women randomized to the physical activity group will have to undertake daily walking to a target step count of 11,000 steps/day or 40% more than their baseline activity monitored by device. All interventions will last for a total duration of 14 weeks (from 18 to 32 weeks of pregnancy). Women allocated to standard care arm will serve as controls and will not be subjected to any active intervention, but will receive routine care by their treating physician. Participants will be studied for development of diabetes at 24-26 weeks of pregnancy. Women who are diagnosed to have diabetes at this stage will be terminated from further intervention and diabetes management will be provided as per local clinical practice. Women who do not develop diabetes, will continue intervention till 32 weeks of pregnancy where final assessment of diabetes status will be done and all study procedures will be completed.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
The possible benefit for participants is better pregnancy care and screening for diabetes. The current study provide women with experience of specific healthy lifestyles during pregnancy. The opportunity to bring about behavioural changes during early pregnancy by changing mother’s nutrition and increasing physical activity to prevent GDM can have immediate and lifelong health impacts on the mother, as well as the newborn, with possible positive consequences into adulthood. The effect of diet and lifestyle interventions in reducing diabetes risk is well known and such interventions would largely benefit both the mother and the new born child in long term. There are no known risks to participants taking part in the study. Both yoghurt and physical activity are generally considered safe during pregnancy.

Where is the study run from?
The study is run from the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (UK) and will take place in a centre in India and a centre in The Gambia

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
September 2018 to August 2021

Who is funding the study?
1. Medical Research Council (UK)
2. Director of Biotechnology (India)
3. Global Challenges Research Fund (UK)

Who is the main contact?
Dr. Senthil Vasan

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Senthil Vasan


Contact details

Oxford Centre for Diabetes
Endocrinology and Metabolism
Churchill Hospital
United Kingdom
+44 (0)7575323737



Additional contact

Prof Fredrik Karpe


Contact details

Oxford Centre for Diabetes
Endocrinology and Metabolism
Churchill Hospital
United Kingdom
+44 1865 857222

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

PRIMORDIAL: PRegnancy Interventions in MOthers Relating to DIAbetes In Asian India and Low-income countries



Study hypothesis

Daily yoghurt and/or daily walking for at least 14 weeks will reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes in ‘high-risk’ pregnant women

Ethics approval

1. Oxford Tropical Research Ethics Committee (OxTREC), 01/11/2018, 44-18
2. Christian Medical College, Vellore, 27/06/2018, IRB:11367
3. Scientific Co-ordinating Committee, MRC Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, 13/11/2018, SCC 1645v1.1

Study design

Interventional 2x2 multi-factorial randomised controlled trial

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use contact details to request a participant information sheet


Gestational diabetes mellitus


Participants will be randomly allocated to either the intervention or the control group.
Participants in the intervention group will be further randomised to receive either 200 g/day yoghurt, a physical activity intervention or both. This physical activity intervention will involve daily walking to a step count 40% higher than their baseline physical activity, or walking daily to a step count of 11,000 steps (whichever is the greatest).
Participants in the control group will receive standard care with no specific intervention.
Randomisation will be centre specific and stratified based on age, body mass index and history of gestational diabetes during previous pregnancy within each randomisation block.
The total duration of intervention is 14 weeks. Participants will be randomised at 18 weeks gestation and the intervention will continue till 32 weeks as per protocol. However, if any participant develops diabetes prior to 32 weeks, active trial interventions will be stopped.

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus according to IADPSG criteria, assessed by the following during weeks 26-28 of gestation and at 32 weeks of gestation:
1. Fasting plasma glucose, analysed using a Roche Cobas 800 Enzymic autoanalyser
2. Glucose at 1 and 2 hours post 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), analysed using a Roche Cobas 800 Enzymic autoanalyser

Secondary outcome measures

1. Gestational weight gain, assessed using a Digital Tanita scale (in The Gambia) and a stadiometer (in India) at screening, the run-in phase, the point of randomisation, visits 1, 2 and 3, and at delivery (prior to birth)
2. Requirement of insulin/metformin post-OGTT, assessed through a review of patient notes from the diagnosis of GDM to delivery
3. Proportion of women undergoing instrumental/caesarean delivery, assessed using the study proforma after delivery
4. Gestational age at delivery, determined by dating the ultrasound scan at delivery
5. Post-partum haemorrhage, assessed using the amount of blood loss after child birth from the study proforma at delivery
6. Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, assessed using clinical diagnosis of hypertension and proteinuria (with or without seizures) from the study proforma after 28 weeks of gestation
7. Blood less at delivery, assessed using the amount of blood loss during the delivery from the study proforma at delivery
8. Pre-term births (less than 37 weeks of gestation), determined by calculating gestational age from dating the ultrasound scan at delivery
9. Foetal macrosomia (defined as birth weight >2 standard deviations above the population-specific mean in each setting), assessed from birth weight measured using an infantometer at delivery
10. Low birth weight (defined as birth weight <2.5 kg), assessed using an infantometer at delivery
11. Physical condition of newborn infant, assessed using the clinically recorded APGAR score at 1 and 5 minutes of birth
12. Length of newborn, assessed by measuring length from the head to the heel using a non-stretchable tape within 48 hours of birth
13. Ponderal index, assessed using the formula (birth weight (kg)/birth length (m))³ within 48 hours of birth
14. Abdominal circumference of the newborn, assessed by measuring the circumference at the level of the xiphisternum and just above/below the level of the umbilicus using non-stretchable tape within 48 hours of birth
15. Barriers to interventions in pregnancy, assessed using a questionnaire at screening and at 32 weeks of gestation

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Aged 18 years or older
2. Pregnant females
3. Gestational age >16 weeks
4. Meeting at least one of the following criteria for high-risk gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM):
4.1. BMI ≥25 kg/m² (for Indian women, BMI ≥23 kg/m²
4.2. First-degree relative with diabetes
4.3. Previous pregnancy with GDM
4.4. Previous pregnancy with a large baby (≥3.5 kg)
4.5. Previous pregnancy with pre-eclampsia/eclampsia
4.6. History of polycystic ovary disease (PCOD) or impaired fasting glucose
5. Not currently on any medications (excluding iron or folic acid supplements)

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

1,875 pregnant women

Participant exclusion criteria

1. Diagnosis of pre-gestational diabetes, previous GDM based on The International Association of the Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups (IADPSG) criteria, or raised blood glucose at blooding - any of the following at first booking:
1.1. Fasting glucose ≥5.1 mmol/L
1.2. 1 hour glucose ≥10.0 mmol/L
1.3. 2 hour glucose ≥8.5 mmol/L
1.4. Documented HbA1c of ≥6.5%
2. Multiple gestation
3. History of severe hyperemesis in first trimester
4. History of hypertension (pre-gestational or gestational)
5. History or recurrent (more than two) first trimester abortions
6. History of ante- or post-partum haemorrhage in the previous pregnancy
7. Previous child born with congenital anomalies
8. Previous stillbirth or miscarriage
9. Pregnancy following in-vitro fertilisation or any assisted reproductive technology
10. Unwilling to adhere to the study protocol
11. History of or current psychiatric illness
12. History of or current neurological condition (i.e. epilepsy)
13. Meeting absolute contraindications for physical activity during preganncy as recommend by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), including:
13.1. Heart disease
13.2. Restrictive lung disease
13.3. Incompetent cervix/cerclage
13.4. At risk for premature labour
13.5. Gestational hypertension
13.6. Severe anaemia

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

Gambia, India

Trial participating centre

Christian Medical College
Ida Scudder Road

Trial participating centre

MRC Unit The Gambia at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Atlantic Blvd, Fajara P. O. Box 273

Sponsor information


University of Oxford

Sponsor details

Research Services
University Offices
Wellington Square
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1865 (2)82106

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Medical Research Council

Alternative name(s)


Funding Body Type

government organisation

Funding Body Subtype

National government


United Kingdom

Funder name

Department of Biotechnology , Ministry of Science and Technology

Alternative name(s)


Funding Body Type

government organisation

Funding Body Subtype

National government



Funder name

Global Challenges Research Fund, Oxford

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

The research findings will be disseminated in national and international platforms and through our network and collaborations. We anticipate publications in high impact international journals and presentation in relevant scientific meetings to inform researchers, clinicians and policy makers. The findings of general linterest will be publicised with the help of the Public Relations Office at the University of Oxford, which is well recognised for being an active communicant of research findings to the public through media. This includes an extensive open website and a full range of events organized during the National Science Week. Furthermore, the School of Medicine runs a very successful engagement programme, in which are its Science in Health, Public Lecture series and Science in Health LIVE event.

IPD sharing statement:
Fully anonymized data will be available on written request from Dr. Senthil Vasan ( after the completion of the study and publication of the primary research findings. All data meant for sharing will be anonymised/de-identified by removing all individual-level participant data and will be archived on the servers of the Archives department of Medical Research Council (MRC) at The Gambia indefinitely. Personally identifiable data will not be shared outside the research team. Data sharing will be in agreement with the MRC, The Gambia as outlined and governed by the Data Sharing Policies and MRC Policy and Guidance on Sharing of Research Data from Population & Patient Studies. The regulations will also adhere to the University of Oxford data policy guidelines. Informed consent for sharing research data with interested collaborators will be obtained from all participants.

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

Available on request

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

11/01/2019: Internal review.